Tottenham can ill afford to rest on their laurels when they welcome Millwall to White Hart Lane on Sunday.
With Chelsea all but champions, the FA Cup is Spurs’ last chance of crowning another progressive season with silverware.
Their run in the competition so far has been touch-and-go.
The 3rd round against Aston Villa lacked a cutting edge until the introduction of Dele Alli in the second half, and it was down to Heung-Min Son to rescue the Lilywhites’ pride with a late winner against Wycombe.
Of course, the 5th round against Fulham saw the reintroduction of most of the first team, and a Harry Kane hat-trick duly put them into the quarter-finals.
Mauricio Pochettino may be tempted to throw some of his youngsters into the mix for quite possibly the last time this season, but he’ll be taking a big risk if he does.
The manager cannot be accused of wasting his Academy products, though, with Harry Winks, Josh Onomah, Cameron Carter-Vickers all having started first team games this term.
18-year-old Kazaiah Sterling will also be training with the first team next season, as will the promising Marcus Edwards.
Yet, unlike many of the Premier League’s top clubs – and Chelsea are particularly guilty of this – Spurs do not have ample youngsters who are dotted around the lower leagues on loan.
Pochettino admits that he prefers to keep his starlets a little closer to home.
“In different periods something like loaning Harry (Kane) to Millwall can work,” he said, per the Guardian.
“When there was a different profile of coaching staff, for example. In that moment it was good for young players to go. Nowadays it is not so important, although you need to respect every single opinion.
“I prefer to have our young players here and offer them the potential to be first‑team players. If you don’t get the opportunities – like Harry and some other players – to be involved with the first team it is best to move. But when you give those players the opportunity to train with the senior squad that is an even better experience.”